Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pot/Marijuana legalized in Colorado--a very bad idea

Here in Colorado, my beautiful adopted state, something occurred that was not so beautiful -- the voters legalized pot.  The ramifications of this are surfacing every day.  

How did this happen?  Here in Colorado we have something called a ballot initiative, where anyone can place on the ballot a proposition as long as there are a required number of signatures. So one of the initiatives that was on the ballot was to legalize pot.  I remember thinking, this will never pass, but it did.  Why?  Follow the money, always.


There are huge profits to be made from the growers, yes we also get taxes that go to the state--somewhere.  And I am not objecting to medical marijuana which helps many with seizures and pain control, especially in cancer patients.  My mother who died of pancreatic cancer and had intense nausea and pain would have been helped.


No, I am talking about recreational marijuana.  Now it is being added to food and candy and the whole attitude is one of frivolity and being a kind of new food or wine. In Colorado, a few months ago,  one of the catering companies offered catered dinner parties where selected foods would be served that complemented marijuana--but bring your own stash. Oh so chi, chi. 


Unfortunately, the new strains of marijuana are up to five times stronger than what was available in the '60s.  In Colorado the THC levels for recreational pot is 20% or higher.  With these higher percentages, there are increased health risks.  At least two deaths in Colorado are attributed to marijuana which was consumed in edible form.  One man shot his wife after eating marijuana candy, and the other committed suicide after consuming cookies containing large amounts of marijuana.


The worst effect is that teenagers who become addicted consuming the "new" pot affect their IQ and cause irreversible damage to their brain.  The brains of teenagers are still developing so this is a real risk; their adulthood will be seriously impaired as they become addicted.


But Americans do not see this as a public health menace which it is.  There is so much misinformation and a disconnect between public opinion and science. In March a Wall Street Journal and NBC poll, Americans viewed sugar as more dangerous than marijuana.


When a society cares more about its pleasures than its children, we are in trouble.


Reference:  Wall Street Journal, "Legal Pot is a Menace." August 14, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Touch and Memory

Bonds between people and animals have always fascinated me, dogs, cats, elephants and other mammals, but fish or eels?  No.  A friend sent me this You Tube video of a woman diver and I think, a Moray eel.  How could this be I thought as I watched the video.  Did she attract the eel by the small fish? I could see the creature eat the fish she had but to wind itself around her?  She was brave to wait and see what would happen--I would have been gone!

Then I thought of the two words, touch and memory.  The eel would have liked to be touched and stroked and his/her memory would have had to remember the  many months from one encounter to another.

Since it is still summer and some of you will be traveling to those watery places and perhaps doing a bit of diving.  And I would advise you--don't try this, just enjoy the video and contemplate the encounter.  Any encounters of the strange kind that you have experienced, please share.


The You Tube video has annoying ads but go to the facebook connection and you will hear the woman diver's own words which are better, and no ads.




https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=110494163800

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why I love the UK, Part III

One more thing.  What I noticed about the Brits while living there for three months, was that they do not brag.  Not like Americans who love to tell you all about themselves and their accomplishments (and their children's) within a few minutes of meeting you.  No, the Brits consider it "poor form" to brag, not posh at all. And to me, it was refreshing.  And even the professors at King Alfred's college where I stayed, would just introduce themselves by their first name.  Later, through someone else you might find out more.  

An example of this was a student at Westgate school where I was student teaching.  The senior students at Westgate school were required to write a research paper about some aspect of Winchester history and Winchester overflows with history, everything from very early times to the time when it was the capital of England, to Jane Austin's home to the famous Winchester Cathedral.  They were allowed to leave the campus during school hours to do this.  One student decided to study the hill fort, St. Catherine's Hill, which overlooks the city.

He wrote a paper in which he figured out and measured where the support structures had been.  His paper was later published in a prestigious journal and although I could tell that the teacher who told me this was very proud of the student, this was what he said, "The lad was quite clever."  "Quite clever" was the ultimate compliment.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/south-downs/explore/st-catherines-hill/ 

Now, the caveat--I understand that with social media, which is all about bragging (sharing), that has changed a bit, with Brits enjoying sharing their travels on Facebook, etc.  So much of this is cultural, and culture does change.
And I do like to hear/read about other's travels and experiences--so to me that is not bragging but sharing information and a way to learn.  So, it's "tell me what you are doing, where you have been, what are you reading?"